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Lincolnshire couple in landmark court case over turbine noise

A couple who claim they were driven out of their Lincolnshire farm by the hum of wind turbines have started a High Court bid for £2.5m compensation.

Jane and Julian Davis moved from Grays Farm in Deeping St Nicholas because of what they said was the strain of living with the incessant noise.

The case will test the law on whether sound created by turbines amounts to a noise nuisance.

Mrs Davis said it was a “nightmare” and they had no option but to leave.

Speaking before the hearing, she said: “The noise is unpredictable and mainly occurs at night, you can never get to bed with the assurance that you will stay asleep.

“You can’t even have a barbecue,” she said.

‘Shut down turbines’

The couple are suing local landowners – RC Tinsley Ltd and Nicholas Watts, on whose land some of the turbines have been sited – as well as Fenland Windfarms Ltd and Fenland Green Power Cooperative Ltd, which own and operate the turbines.

Their lawyers are seeking either a permanent injunction to shut down the turbines or damages of up to £2.5m to compensate for the disruptive effects on their lives.

They have not returned to their home since 2007, and are now living in Spalding.

Mrs Davis said before the hearing she had no quarrel with the appearance of the turbines – only with the noise.

“We want them to stop the noise so we can move back in,” she said.

The couple’s QC, Peter Harrison, said the case was not a test of the government’s green policies, but concerned the Davis’ wish to “get on with their lives and get back into their house”.

The case will hinge on technical arguments about measuring the amplitude modulation given off by the turbines.

The hearing before Mr Justice Hickinbottom continues.